Newborn baby photography, pixels and what do they matter?

March 01, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

A digital image file is made up of squares of colour that produce the picture.  These squares are called pixels.  When producing a photographic product these pixels are placed on the print or canvas in the form of dots. Depending on how close you are when viewing, you will want to print a certain number of dots per inch, (DPI), for a clear and sharp image and so you do not see any individual dots. This is particularly important in newborn baby photography.  

EyesEyes

An average person can distinguish about 850 DPI at about 4 inches, which is as close as most people can focus.  When reading a book at about 12 inches only around 300 DPI is required as the average eye cannot distinguish any more.  If we get even further away, say the distance of a computer screen, about 30 inches, then only 115 DPI is required for a clear picture.  By the time we get to the distance of a TV of around 72 inches or 6 feet we only need about 50 DPI for a clear picture.  However if you do view closer than the distances noted above you can start to see the individual dots and the beautiful pictures of your newborn baby will look grainy and of poor quality.

A digital file sized 4500x3000 pixels can be printed in many different physical sizes but the quality of viewing would be different depending on how large the print is and how far away you are when viewing it. A 4500x3000 pixel digital image will produce a 15-inch by 10-inch print at 300 DPI.  You will be able to view this print in your hand and not see individual dots. (4500 pixels/dots divided by 15-inches equals 300 DPI). If printing a larger product say 30-inch by 20-inch then there would only be 150 DPI, (4500 divided by 30 inches equals 150 DPI).  When viewing on a wall from a distance of over a few feet, individual dots should not be seen but getting close up they may be noticeable.

The example of a newborn baby eye below shows the differences when you have the correct number of pixels for the size of image you want to print. 

  newborn baby EyesEyesQuality of newborn baby eyes depending on DPI

First image is actual size at 300 DPI , 2nd image is 150% of intended size, the 3rd image is 200% of intended size 150 DPI.

(If you move further away and closer to this image you will see the effect, further away all of the eyes should look clear and sharp.)

Most general good quality photographic prints are produced at 300 DPI.  For wall products some suppliers reduce this to 150 DPI or less but the clarity at closer viewing will suffer. These DPI’s are used as they are currently the most convenient formats for production and eventual viewing.  They also allow for larger images to be printed from smaller less detailed digital image files.

Please note Chumba Newborn Photography produce all products including wall products using at least 300 DPI.

 


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